New Report Shows the Economic and Safety Benefits of Complete Streets


A Complete Streets approach to transportation has helped communities across the country reduce automobile collisions and injuries and increase the number of people biking, walking, and taking transit. These projects are inexpensive yet achieve core transportation goals, and are also related to increased employment, higher property values, increased net new businesses, and increased investment from the private sector according to new research released last week by Smart Growth America’sNational Complete Streets Coalition.

Safer Streets, Stronger Economiesanalyzes data from 37 Complete Streets projects across the country, and explores the outcomes communities got for their investment. Relying on information collected by local departments of transportation and economic development, the new findings show just how good an investment Complete Streets projects can be.

  • Streets were safer: Automobile collisions declined in 70 percent of projects, and injuries declined in 56 percent of projects.
  • This safety has financial value: Within our sample, Complete Streets improvements collectively averted $18.1 million in total collision costs in just one year.
  • The projects encouraged multimodal travel: Complete Streets projects nearly always resulted in more biking, walking and transit trips.
  • Complete Streets projects are cheap: The average cost of a Complete Streets project was just $2.1 million—far less than the $9 million average cost of projects in state transportation improvement plans. And 97 percent of Complete streets projects cost less per mile than construction of an average high-cost arterial.
  • And they can be an important part of economic development: Our findings suggest that Complete Streets projects were supportive of higher employment rates, new businesses, and property values. And several of the projects have seen significant private investment since their completion.

Whether it’s planting trees or adding crosswalks, making travel lanes narrower or creating space for people on bikes, hundreds of communities are changing how their streets look and work—and getting a great return on public investment in the process. Read the full findings and learn more HERE.

ASLA is a proud member of the Steering Committee of the National Complete Streets Coalition. Landscape architects are at the forefront of designing complete streets that can be benefitted by all users in a myriad of communities across the United States and the ASLA Advocacy team will continue to advocate for policies like this that create jobs and keep communities safe.

For more information regarding ASLA Advocacy efforts visit the Advocacy homepage, iAdvocate Network, or follow us on Twitter.


Kevin Fry
Director, PR and

JR Taylor
PR Coordinator